A sprinter has set a new British record in the 100 and 200 metres – and he’s 96 years old!
Pace-setting pensioner Dr Charles Eugster ran a time of 23.78 seconds in the M-95 (males aged 95 or over) category at the British Masters at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. He then followed that up with a record-breaking 57.27 seconds in the 200m.
‘In the UK nobody of my age had attempted to run these races competitively, so all I had to do is stagger over the finish line alive,’ says high-octane OAP Charles, who was born in London.
‘I was really pleased with my time though, it had to be of a certain standard or otherwise it wouldn’t have been accepted. I was quite surprised at the finish that I wasn’t as knackered as I usually am!’
As Charles is usually the only person in his age bracket, he runs alongside athletes from younger age categories – and he admits the women can be a distraction.
‘In one of my races I ran with the over-70s women. It gave me an incentive – to chase a female bottom!’ jokes the former dentist.
While Charles has a haul of rowing medals from regattas down the years, amazingly he only began running competitively last year.
The nonagenarian originally turned to bodybuilding at the age of 87 after growing disgusted at his own ageing body.
He now lives by a strict mantra of work, nutrition and exercise, and travels around the world to preach the benefits of staying active into old age.
‘Old age is something to look forward to – it can be the most enjoyable, wondrous, stupendous, exciting period of anybody’s life,’ insists Charles. ‘But from the age of about 50, we all start losing muscle mass – so it’s important to stay active.’
And Charles’ greatest inspiration comes not from the athletics world, but from our very own Queen.
‘She does not retire, she is nearly 90, she has a punishing schedule – I think that she sets a wonderful example and I think her subjects should do the same,’ he says. ‘When I retired I imagined it would be like an endless holiday, but it opened a door to a chamber of horrors.
‘Starting bodybuilding saved my life, but I took that as far as I could. Now I want to see what I can achieve in the world of running.
‘I want people to know that you can reboot your body at any age – you’re never too old.’